I learned everything I needed to know about Kurt Warner at a 2004 Week 15 game between the Giants and the Steelers. The Giants were out of the playoff hunt, and had turned their attention to the development of a rookie Eli Manning a few games prior. Warner, who had been signed to a one-year deal to help break Eli in, had gone from starter to backup yet again, and knew he’d be looking for a third team in as many years when the season was over in a few weeks.
In the game in question (which the Giants lost 33-30), Giants return man Willie Ponder returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The crazy thing wasn’t that the Giants special teams scored a touchdown, but that Warner was out at midfield when the play was over, in a pile of his teammates, helmet off, screaming and jumping up and down with everyone else. I tried to think of one other superstar veteran quarterback who could get kicked to the curb and still show genuine enthusiasm for his teammates in a situation like that, and I couldn’t. Maybe I’m wrong and there are other guys. In either case, it was one more chapter in the class act that was Warner’s career.
Needless to say, I was pretty excited when Warner came by the M&F offices to chat recently, as seen in the video at the top of this post. The main purpose of his visit was to talk about his high cholesterol and the First and Goal Heart Health campaign, but we also talked a little football, including how the NFL Combine is overrated, the Jets and Giants quarterback outlooks for 2014, and the infamous “fumble” that ended Super Bowl XLIII.